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It's Offering of Letters Day!

Last week was the preview, the teaser trailer if you will. Now it is time for the actual event!

Our annual Offering of Letters begins…right now! We’ll talk a lot more about this on Sunday as we consider “Who’s Hungry?” Here and now though you can find all the basics and an easy-to-accomplish action step. Plus all the links to the deepest deep dive you could desire. 

This year our letters will urge our members of Congress to support reauthorization of a Farm Bill that builds healthy, equitable, and sustainable food systems. The Farm Bill is a huge piece of legislation that touches the lives of nearly every person living in the United States and many millions more around the world. The Farm Bill get reauthorized every 5 years. The expiring version totaled $428 Billion. We expect the new version to be about the same $428 Billion.

We have a voice and we have influence. We have power. That’s really what any Offering of Letters is all about: Using our power to help as many people as we are able. Ensuring that our elected leaders hear our voice and know what matters to us.

With one click you can email three letters—one each to your U.S. Representatives and you two U.S. Senators.

When you click that link you’ll be prompted to enter your address. Bread for the World then automatically finds your U.S. Representative and Senators and will address your letter to them. 

—Underneath where you enter your address there is a line that reads, “Check here if you are emailing Congress as part of an Offering of Letters Event.” And a box next to a line that reads “Yes, this is an Offering of Letters.” Please check the box! Doing so aids us in tracking the letters our congregation sends.

—Next is a line that reads, "If you are writing as part of an Offering of Letters, please enter the name of the congregation, campus or organization hosting the event.”
Please enter the name of our congregation as Woodridge UMC

After those two steps you can click the button at the bottom of the page that reads, “Click here to proceed to the email.” That takes you to a page with the body of the letter. You can edit the letter as you see fit before sending it. You’ll see that it is already addressed to your Representative and Senators. 

For those of us living in Illinois it is imperative that we reach out to Senator Dick Durbin. He is on the Senate Agriculture Committee which has great influence over the Farm Bill. So if you are hand-writing your letters, please prioritize sending one to Sen. Durbin. 

Again, to get going with your email letter click here. 

On to the deep, deep dive!
The following are all kinds of links offered for you to further explore the Farm Bill and what we mean by “healthy, equitable, and sustainable.” 

For a 1-page overview of our “ask” click here

For a 3-page Farm Bill policy platform click here

For a story about how the Farm Bill helps a couple from Michigan click here

For a look into the international side of the Farm Bill click here

For a look at hunger in Illinois click here 

For more on Equity in the Farm Bill click here

For more on Sustainability in the Farm Bill click here

For more on Nutrition in the Farm Bill click here

For more about why we advocate in this way, click here.

Reach out with any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them. Then we’ll see you in church Sunday as we use the power of our voice to feed hungry neighbors near and around the globe. Let’s be the hands, feet, and voice of Jesus together!


OL Time is Almost Here

Our annual Offering of Letters (aka OL) returns next week, Sunday, March 19th and continues the following week, Sunday, March 26th. Every year we partner with Bread for the World to write letters and emails to our members of Congress because they have the power to impact the policies and programs that can end hunger.

What's this year's campaign focus?
This year is all about the Farm Bill. Our letters will urge our members of Congress to support reauthorization of a Farm Bill that builds healthy, equitable, and sustainable food systems.

The Farm Bill is an enormous piece of legislation, so it will take some time and effort to understand all that goes into it. I encourage you to begin that process today! This link is just three pages on what we're asking in this Farm Bill

To learn more about the Offering of Letters campaign, click here

We're not alone in this!
Our neighbors and siblings in Christ at St. Scholastica Catholic church and Christ the Servant Catholic church are also conducting an Offering of Letters this spring. I think that is amazing and wonderful that in a village as relatively small as Woodridge, three of our five churches are engaging in this direct advocacy! Praise God the Fount of Justice for that! 

Who is Bread for the World and why do we partner with them?
Bread for the World (aka Bread) is a non-partisan Christian advocacy organization urging U.S. decision makers to do all they can to pursue a world without hunger. Bread's mission is to educate and equip people to advocate for policies and programs that can help end hunger in the U.S. and around the world. 

We partner with them because they help us be the hand, feet, and voice of Christ in the world. 

To learn more about why we advocate in this way, click here.